Prices of fish, beef, chicken and garlic have increased further since the beginning of Ramadan, adding to the woes of the consumers.
Although the two city corporations (Dhaka South City Corporation and Dhaka North City Corporation) have fixed the prices of beef and other red meats a day before the starting of the Ramadan, most of the meat shops are yet to follow the price chart.
Besides, the governments four intelligence agencies are already working in the markets. Different teams formed by these organisations are monitoring the market situation every day.
Visiting different kitchen markets The Independent found out that beef prices were fixed at Tk 525 a kg on May 6 by Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC). Most of the meat traders were still selling the meat at Tk 550-600 a kg. However, some shops were found selling beef at Tk 525 a kg on the day. Prices of vegetables have also scaled up. Traders said last week they sold chilies at Tk 60 to Tk 70 per kg. This week it has risen to Tk 80 to Tk 90. Besides, the prices of almost all the vegetables rose by Tk 10-15. Broiler chicken traders said the demand has risen so is the price.
Cucumber and carrot are being sold at Tk 60. Almost all vegetables, including eggplants, bitter gourd, pointed gourd, ladies finger, string beans and snake gourd are on the increased price list. Papaya is being sold at Tk 60 per kg.
Garlic prices increased by Tk 20-30 per kg as local variety was sold at Tk 80-100 a kg and imported Chinese one at Tk 140-150 a kg on the day. In Karwan Bazar, domestic or local onion was being sold at Tk 30-35 a kg and imported onion for same.
When asked about the rising prices of selected items, a trader said that now, the prices are high in the market because these items are irreplaceable during Ramadan.
Most of the buyers claimed that though prices of vegetables and other commodities are low at wholesale markets but they end up becoming higher in the shops of retailers.
Meanwhile, local variety of chicken prices increased to Tk 500 to Tk 550 a kg last week from Tk 450 to Tk 480.
Broiler chicken remained also high at Tk 150 to Tk 160 a kg and layer at Tk 190 to Tk 200 in the seven days.
Prices of ruhita fish increased to Tk 230-370 a kg, based on size, from Tk 220-350 a kg last week. Cultured katla, koi, tilapia and pangas fish also witnessed a Tk 20-40 hike per kg in last seven days. Indigenous ruhi, katla, shrimp, pabda, golsha, shoul, tengra, bata, kajoli, batashi and other fishes witnessed a Tk 100-200 hike at per kg.
Retail prices of dates, a commodity highly consumed during the holy Ramadan, have seen a decline ranging Tk 20 to Tk 150 per kg in different category comparing to the previous year, thanks to adequate supply.
However, during Ramadan, the state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) began selling commodities at a subsidized rate across the country from April 22. Under the programme, the TCB will sell 2,000–2,500 tonnes of edible oil, 2,000 tonnes of sugar, 1,000–1,100 tonnes of lentils, 1,500 tonnes of chickpeas, and 100 tonnes of dates.
Some 2,827 dealers will sell the commodities at 187 spots across the country with the goods loaded on trucks: 35 spots in the capital, 10 in Chattogram, five each in all the divisional cities, and one each at all district headquarters.
Besides, different agencies of government the commerce ministry, Department of Consumer Rights Protection, Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution (BSTI), safe food department and the city corporations are regularly monitoring the markets. The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) is also keeping an eye on the markets across the country.